Ex-President Arroyo, other House legislators post 'unequivocal defense' of Duterte vs ICC probe | Global News

Ex-President Arroyo, other House legislators post ‘unequivocal defense’ of Duterte vs ICC probe

/ 02:15 PM February 16, 2023
Ex-President Arroyo and other House lawmakers post their "unequivocal defense" of Rodrigo Duterte against the ICC's "drug war" probe

The International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands (Photo from the ICC website)

MANILA, Philippines — Former President and now Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 18 other members of the House of Representatives have registered their “unequivocal defense” of former President Rodrigo Duterte amid the looming “drug war” probe of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Arroyo’s office on Thursday shared with the media a copy of House Resolution No. 780, seeking the lower chamber’s support for Duterte as the ICC is set to resume its investigation on his administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.


Duterte has been accused of crimes against humanity in complaints filed before the ICC. The complaints were lodged by families and relatives of people who died in his brutal anti-illegal drugs drive.


“Whereas, after a panel of judges at the [ICC] in the Hague authorized the Office of the Prosecutor to resume its investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla declared, ‘They are insulting us’, describing the case as ‘totally unacceptable’,” reads House Resolution No. 780.

“Now, therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, that the House of Representatives declares unequivocal defense of Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, in any investigation and/or prosecution by the ICC,” it also states.

Aside from Arroyo, the following lawmakers are also primary authors of House Resolution No. 780:

  • Carmelo Lazatin II (Pampanga, 1st District)
  • Aurelio Gonzales (Pampanga, 3rd District)
  • Anna York Bondoc-Sagum (Pampanga, 4th District)
  • Jose Alvarez (Palawan, 2nd District)
  • Mary Mitzi Cajayon – Uy (Caloocan, 2nd District)
  • Richard Gomez (Leyte, 4th District)
  • Wilton Kho (Masbate, 3rd District)
  • Loreto Amante (Laguna, 3rd District)
  • Edward Hagedorn (Palawan, 3rd District)
  • Edwin Olivarez (Parañaque, 1st District)
  • Eric Martinez (Valenzuela 2nd District)
  • Eduardo Rama Jr. (Cebu, 2nd District)
  • Dale Corvera (Agusan del Norte, 2nd District)
  • Zaldy Villa (Siquijor)
  • Ma. Rene Ann Lourdes Matibag (Laguna, 1st District)
  • Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, 1st District)
  • Johnny Pimentel (Surigao del Sur, 2nd District)
  • Marlyn Primicias – Agabas (Pangasinan, 6th District)

While Duterte has been assailed by critics because of the drug war, the lawmakers said the former president’s administration brought improvements to the country’s peace and order situation.


READ: War on drugs: The violence, scars, doubts and families it left behind 

“Former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte is convinced that fighting illegal drugs, along with corruption and other crimes, is a prerequisite for achieving genuine growth and prosperity,” they said in their resolution.

“[…] Duterte’s presidency has ushered remarkable accomplishments brought about by his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, insurgency, separatism and terrorism, corruption in government and criminality thus making the life of every Filipino better, comfortable and peaceful,” they added.


Complaints for crime against humanity of mass murder were filed before the ICC against Duterte and other implementers the drug war, which complainants described as a systematic killing of suspects in the anti-drug campaign.

The ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber authorized in January the resumption of the probe, finding the Philippine government’s investigations of the drug war deaths insufficient.

READ: ICC resumes full-blown probe of Duterte drug war


But the Duterte administration maintained that the killings in the drug war happened during legitimate police operations. Duterte even said that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines because the body only intervenes when there is a failure of the justice system in a country – besides, the Philippines already withdrew from the Rome Statute in 2018.

Duterte’s successor, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., also issued the same sentiments, saying the ICC is only welcome if the country’s system collapses.

READ: Marcos: ICC welcome only if ‘system collapses’ or ‘we have war’ 

READ: Malacañang maintains ICC has no jurisdiction over PH gov’t amid deferred probe 

However, former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and other legal experts asserted that the ICC still has jurisdiction over cases that happened before the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute.


ICC prosecutor seeks resumption of probe into PH’s human-rights situation

PH officials ordered drug war killings – ICC prosecutor

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TAGS: crimes against humanity, drug war, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House of Representatives, ICC, Philippines, rights, Rodrigo Duterte
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